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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Mid and East Antrim celebrates new cohort of accredited tour guides

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna with Council representatives and tour guides.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna with Council representatives and tour guides.


The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, recently hosted a celebratory event to recognise and honour newly qualified tour guides from within the Ballymena area.

 

To support and encourage local tourism product development, participants in this accredited OCN Level 2 tour guiding course undertook training from January to March 2023 through Northern Regional College.

 


Expressing her pride in the achievements of the 10 newly qualified tour guides, the Mayor remarked:

 

"We are thrilled to celebrate the successful completion of this OCN Level 2 training course bylocal people from the Ballymena area. This accomplishment not only reflects their commitment to personal development but also their dedication to enhancing Mid and East Antrim’s tourism sector and their local communities.

 

“Growing the economy and developing our tourism potential are two strategic priorities for Council. For that reason, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council were pleased to fund this course and to work in partnership with Northern Regional College, to ensure that local communities and the hospitality and tourism industry all have the skills and support needed to grow and make the most of future opportunities.  



Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna with Gracehill guides Jacqueline Neill, Sally Anne Johnson, Janet Wray and Derek Bell.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna with Gracehill guides Jacqueline Neill, Sally Anne Johnson, Janet Wray and Derek Bell.


“Mid and East Antrim has some of the most beautiful and scenic land and seascapes in Northern Ireland, from the River Bann in the west, to the stunning Causeway Coastal Route in the east and the beautiful Glens of Antrim. It’s an area rich in culture and heritage, which can truly be brought to life by these welcoming tour guides.

 

“In successfully completing this training, they are now armed with the confidence, knowledge and skills to create unique experiences for visitors which will help create long lasting memories of their visit to Mid and East Antrim.  



"Visitors will benefit from their local knowledge of culture and heritage, which enriches their awareness and understanding, and gives them the opportunity to learn things they could never find in a guidebook.  Encouraging visitors to take time to explore our “hidden gems”, adds value to our local tourism industry, and makes their stay so much more interesting and worthwhile.  


Mary Johnston-Watterson from Arthur Cottage, Robert Stewart from Arthur Cottage, Steve Stewart Ballymena / Carrickfergus Castle / Andrew Jackson Cottage, Karen Steele MEABC and Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna.

Mary Johnston-Watterson from Arthur Cottage, Robert Stewart from Arthur Cottage, Steve Stewart Ballymena / Carrickfergus Castle / Andrew Jackson Cottage, Karen Steele MEABC and Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna.


“We congratulate each of the tour guides on their achievement and look forward to their valuable contributions in offering unforgettable experiences to visitors and new experiences within the borough.”

 

The OCN NI Level 2 Award in Tour Guiding qualification equips learners with skills in the travel and tourism industry to enable them to develop a tour commentary and lead groups on a guided tour.

 


The course assessment method involved the completion and submission of a learner portfolio, covering three key learning outcomes: understanding the role of the tour guide in the travel and tourism industry; producing a concise tour commentary; and comprehending the health and safety implications of tour guiding.


Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna with Broughshaneguides Warren Larkan and Caroline Gordon.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna with Broughshaneguides Warren Larkan and Caroline Gordon.


Karen McLeod, Travel and Tourism Lecturer at Northern Regional College, said:

 

"It has been an absolute pleasure guiding this cohort of aspiring tour guides through this OCN Level 2 training course. Witnessing their growth and passion for showcasing the beauty and history of Mid and East Antrim has been truly inspiring. I have no doubt that these newly qualified guides possess the knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm to provide exceptional tours that will captivate visitors from near and far."

 


A further free OCN Level 2 Tour Guiding course for residents within Mid and East Antrim is being organised by Council for September 2023 and will run for 8 weeks. Places are limited and set criteria will apply.  If you would like further information on the course or to obtain an application form please email: tourism@midandeastantrim.gov.uk  

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